For the third year in a row, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is demonstrating its dedication to China, its largest international fan base, with a major weeklong Chinese New Year celebration.
The year of the horse festivities taking place from January 28 to February 4 will include special China-specific games, celebrations at official U.S.-based NBA games, fan activities, and limited-edition products.
A total of 23 live games will be broadcast and streamed specifically in China, where they will be shown on mainland networks such as CCTV 5, BTV, Chongqing Satellite TV, and more. CCTV 5 will show seven doubleheaders featuring the Miami Heat, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, and Oklahoma City Thunder.
In addition, 10 teams will be honoring the holiday during games in the United States. These include the Houston Rockets, who drafted Yao Ming in 2002 and currently have Asian-American Jeremy Lin on their roster, as well as the Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Golden State Warriors, Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings.
“Chinese New Year is a global event and a great opportunity for us to celebrate with our fans and their families in North America and China,” said NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. “The week-long initiative will bring the excitement of the NBA to fans in ways that resonate with Chinese culture, featuring unprecedented NBA programming and a variety of Chinese New Year-themed fan activities.”
On January 28, all 14 NBA teams with scheduled games will be wearing special Chinese New Year shooting shirts from Adidas, which will be available on the NBA’s online store.
To kick off the games broadcast in China, a special viewing party will be hosted in Shanghai on January 29, where NBA champion Robert Horry and the San Antonio Spurs dance team will make an appearance. Throughout the week of celebrations, the NBA will be hosting online and social media promotions on its Sina Weibo, WeChat, and Tencent Weibo accounts, including the chance to win prizes and the opportunity to attend the viewing party.